There are newer employer reviews for MDA Corporation
There are newer employer reviews for MDA Corporation

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Helpful (3)

Unique

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, BC (Canada)
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, BC (Canada)
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

I worked at MDA Corporation full-time (More than 8 years)

Pros

MDA is unique. It has unique opportunities that will keep you challenged and growing. It has a good culture for staff below that at the management level with organised events, skit nights and sports. If you want to know how engineering is done well then this is the company for you.

Cons

MDA keeps people by keeping them challenged and training the staff up to get better paying jobs somewhere else. However many of those jobs are somewhere other than in BC so it manages to keep the pay low as staff have few opportunities locally. The younger staff see this and tend to leave within their first 5 to 7 years. MDA needs to realise that it does alot of software and adjust to the reality that comes with being a software company, like pay, like working arrangements and like cutting edge software techniques!

Advice to Management

Stop reorganising!

Other Employee Reviews for MDA Corporation

  1. Helpful (7)

    Viewed by some as a Canadian success story (externally) but curently really struggling internally

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at MDA Corporation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work can be interesting and diverse. Generally flexible hours of work. Good peer support amongst personnel. Employees maintain a healthy program of volunteer social programs in the areas of sports, recreation and the like.

    Cons

    Long hours of work and high productivity expected - but compensation has lagged (sometimes 0% annually and no more than 1-2% increase annually for the last several years - except for upper management - the only ones to get stock options & bonuses). CEO is super cheap - he tried to sell off the systems & space business 4-5 yrs ago but sale was blocked by the CDN Government. Then business in the other half of the company began to tank (coincident with the US and UK housing market crashes) and this business was then sold off for a reasonable price (bulk of $ from this sale was given to shareholders as dividends and to Sr. management as bonuses - very little given to regular employees as compensation - rest used to buy a Comms satellite interest in the U.S.). Richmond BC contingent of company is stuggling and this year laid-off 15% of staff with another 8-10% leaving on their own accord - represents a significant brain drain. Brampton business unit hit with even greater percentage of layoffs. Overall, employee moral has taken a beating and most staff have a very cynical view and general lack of faith in upper management (whose response has been to squeeze budgets even further while instituting several major and confusing reorganizations). Advancement is based on who you know, not what you know or have accomplished, and senior management is an old boy's club (no women allowed).

    Advice to Management

    No meaningful compensation to most employees while upper management lines up at the trough (and makes inflated dividends to the shareholders so managers can cash in on stock options & bonuses) will untimately choke off employee interest and innovation within the company (many are already looking for other opportunities elsewhere). Unless the trend is addressed would not be surprised to see the company begin to have difficulties executing projects and could even see Company HQ move to one of the branch offices once the current CEO quits or is relieved (Quebec or perhaps even into the US).


  2. Helpful (4)

    Idiotic Management, Fearful Executives, Great People on the Ground

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Brampton, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Engineer in Brampton, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at MDA Corporation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - The people are great for the most part, with a ton of very friendly and very helpful peers to draw on for knowledge. Skill of employees is variable, but there are at least a few highly skilled people in each discipline to ensure project success. - Occasionally there are amazing projects to work on, though these are becoming rare. - I've learned so much working here, and have been very lucky with what I've worked on and who I've worked with. - I have a lot of cons below, mostly because I care and wish things were back to the old days of dynamism, can-do attitudes. It could come back, but a lot will have to change first.

    Cons

    - Senior management and executives are fearful of competition in commercial space endeavours, despite having been far in the lead world-wide in relevant technologies. That lead has eroded, and management prefers that we assume the usual role as a sub-contractor for hire. - Gross inefficiency is everywhere and sometimes even encouraged. This lowers morale and further lowers efficiency. - Dead wood is kept around. Some staff have severely atrophied skills, and many people are wholly bought-in to out-dated processes and baggage from old programs, or are incapable of making a decision. - Potential customers are sometimes turned off by our high price. Overheads are high. - Careers are stagnating both in technical staff and management. Result is a lot of cruft clogging up the advancement chain, little fiefdoms in line management and above, and ultimately poor program performance. - Canada's gov't is incapable of making a commitment to space programs without the US first leading the way, so there have not been (m)any real new flight programs in Brampton in several years. A decade of prototypes gets old after a while, and as mentioned, management is unwilling to take matters into their own hands on the commercial side. - There is an overt adversarial relationship between HR and technical staff. I was amazed at this when I joined, assuming HR is supposed to be on the employees' side and that employees would negotiate with management. Not the case. - Others have mentioned the pay situation. Yeah it's lower than industry averages by a considerable margin, and yeah that's a stated part of the company's business plan because they know that few space opportunities exist in Canada. Historically, attrition has been right where they wanted it. But good people are leaving regularly now and morale is pretty low.

    Advice to Management

    Take risks. We need to, at this point. Invest in internal R&D or there will be no future of innovation at MDA. We can still compete if you allow real change. Stop shuffling the chairs. Yearly re-organization is not helpful unless you allow for corporate and cultural change in parallel with it.


There are newer employer reviews for MDA Corporation
There are newer employer reviews for MDA Corporation

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